Time Digital Report: Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) announced to hold protest movements across the country today against the 'police attack' in the capital's Nayapaltan area on Wednesday (7 December) and the arresting of many of its leaders.
The decision came following an emergency meeting of the political party, held virtually on Wednesday. The meeting was presided over by BNP acting chairman Tarique Rahman, said a press release.
Two men died of bullet injuries after'police attack' in front of the party's Nayapaltan headquarters in the capital on Wednesday amid political tensions brewing ahead of the BNP's 10 December Dhaka rally.
Following the clashes that lasted more than three hours on Wednesday afternoon, at least 20 persons were brought to Dhaka Medical College Hospital till 8pm, according to Bachchu Mia, a police inspector and also in-charge of Dhaka Medical College Hospital police outpost.
Talking to reporters in front of the party headquarters in the evening, BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir claimed that two BNP men died in the clashes and at least 100 activists got injured.
As the top BNP leader was talking to journalists, police cordoned off the Nayapaltan BNP office, where the party plans to hold the political gathering after a series of divisional rallies across the country.
Dozens of BNP leaders and activists, including the party's Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi, Publicity Secretary Shahid Uddin Chowdhury Annie, former Chhatra Dal president Abdul Kader Bhuiyan Jewel and BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia's Special Assistant Shamsur Rahman Shimul Biswas, were among those detained from the scene on Wednesday.
BNP activists started to gather at Nayapaltan from Wednesday noon to make enquiries about the political programme, said BNP leaders, as the venue of the rally was yet to be finalised by the authorities. A large number of police personnel were deployed on nearby roads.
According to witnesses, the gathering at one point blocked the road as police asked them to leave. As they did not do so, police fired tear shells and blank shots to try and disperse the crowd around 3pm. The BNP men retaliated by throwing bricks at the policemen. The clashes froze vehicular movements from Fakirapul to the Nightingale intersection.
At one point, the BNP men ducked into nearby alleys to escape the police and continued to throw bricks at the law enforcers. The policemen eventually entered the alleys and beat them up.
Subsequently, SWAT members were called in and armoured police vehicles rumbled into the area. The heavily armed police backup included riot cars and bomb disposal units.
In the evening, police raided the party headquarters and allegedly charged batons on BNP men who had been trapped inside.